William Robert Harris passed away October 27 at Doctors Hospital of Manteca after a lengthy illness. Born March 30, 1932 in Modesto, California, he attended Ceres Grammar School, later moving to Manteca High School and graduating with the class of 1950. After graduation, he attended Schneider Institute in Stockton, where he studied mechanical layout and industrial design. In 1955, he and his wife purchased Smith Welding in the Nile Garden area of Manteca. In 1960, the welding shop evolved into Tuff Boy, a leader in the manufacture and leasing of highway trailers. Three generations of the Harris family are presently involved in the Tuff Boy companies.
William is survived by his wife Lucille, his son Martin Harris (Kerry), his daughters Marcia Perkins (Bryce), and Melissa King (Rick). Also surviving are seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
His affiliations included Manteca Chamber of Commerce, Manteca Historical Society, Manteca Lions Club, Spring Creek Country Club, and St. Anthony’s Church.
He was a staunch supporter of citizen’s rights. Beginning with the 1977 state legislative committee for tort reform and continuing as a member of Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA), he called for judicial integrity and accountability.
William was also a steadfast believer in the importance of education. He was a major sponsor of Great Valley Writing Project, a nonprofit partner of California State University Stanislaus that provides educational programs for students and teachers in Manteca, Ripon, Escalon, and Lathrop communities.
P. L. Fry is honored to be serving the Harris family. A memorial service will be held at St. Anthony’s Church, 525 E. North St., Manteca on Monday, November 5 at 10:30 a.m. An online guest book is available for condolences to the family at www.plfryandson.com (Search obituaries)
Remembrances may be made to the following organizations: Great Valley Writing Project, 1546 Oakwood Drive, Escalon, CA 95320; Manteca Historical Society, PO Box 907, Manteca, CA 95336; or St. Anthony’s School, 323 N. Fremont Ave., Manteca,
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Thursday, November 1, 2012